Scott Morrison’s shocking backflip on electric vehicles

The Liberal Party’s increasingly unpopular approach to government can be summed up in a single sentence: “we’re 40 per cent less terrible than Labor and the Greens”. The latest example of many is Morrison’s new electric car policy.

Although Bill Shorten – the bloke who calls angry tradies fed up with lockdowns “man-baby Nazis” – was punished for promising 50 per cent of new car sales would be electric by 2030 at the last election, PM Scott Morrison has decided to go down the very same path.

Instead of a 50 per cent electric vehicle target, this morning ScoMo announced he’d aim for 30 per cent of new sales to be electric vehicles by 2030 (that’s a total of 40 per cent lower than Labor’s 2019 policy).

Morrison promised he’ll spend $250 million on public and household electric vehicle charging, electrifying commercial fleets, and heavy and long-distance vehicles – almost five times more than the $57 million Labor committed to developing an electric vehicle industry.

And when questioned about how similar his electric vehicle policy is to Labor’s, Morrison said “I have a problem with governments telling people what to do and what vehicles they should drive” - even though he has no issue with the state telling people what vaccine to get, what jobs are essential/non-essential, and what farmers should/shouldn’t do with their land.

How short do you think our memories are, mate?

Millions of Australians who voted for you in 2019 remember exactly what you said about electric vehicles.

At the time, you asked 2GB radio’s audience, “What about all these charging stations, how much is that going to cost? I mean if you have an electric car and you live in an apartment, are you going to run the extension cord down from your fourth-floor window?”

At a doorstop you said, “Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend when it comes to his policy on electric vehicles where you’ve got Australians who love being out there in their four-wheel drives… [An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family.”

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said, “we are going to stand by our tradies and we are going to save their utes” in response to Labor’s policy on electric vehicles.

Even Energy Minister Angus Taylor posted the following on his Twitter page:

This is not the way to run a government, guys, and here’s why:

CEO of energy company Lumea Richard Lowe admits “one electric vehicle, we estimate, consumes about the same electricity as your average household.” In other words, prepare for even higher energy prices after they already went up by over 101 per cent over the last decade.

According to a paper by experts in ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Risk Management Laboratory:

  • Half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car comes from the energy used to produce the car, especially in the mining and processing of raw materials needed for the battery – roughly double the energy used to manufacture a gasoline-powered car.
  • This means that when a new EV appears in the showroom, it has already been responsible for 14,250kg of carbon-dioxide emissions (assuming a vehicle life of 150,000km) while the equivalent amount for manufacturing a conventional car is 6,450kg.
  • Once on the road, the emissions of electric vehicles depend on the power-generation fuel used to recharge its battery. If it comes mostly from coal, an electric vehicle will produce 17-27 per cent more carbon-dioxide emission than diesel and gasoline cars.
  • If the EV is driven for 90,000 miles and the battery is charged by cleaner natural-gas fuelled power stations, it will cause just 10-24 per cent less carbon-dioxide emission than a diesel or gasoline-powered car.

 Even worse, there’s net-zero consideration for the fact that:

  • All variants of the 2021 Tesla Model 3 are now made in Chinese factories, which are no doubt running on coal-fired power.
  • To replace all the sales of conventional vehicles with electric versions, the world will need a 2898 per cent increase in lithium production; a 1928 per cent increase in cobalt; a 524 per cent increase in graphite; a 105 per cent increase in nickel; a 655 per cent increase in rare-earth minerals; a tripling of copper production; and more coal, diesel and gasoline burning to fuel the work.
  • Two-thirds of all cobalt production” – a key component in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries – “happens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)” where “40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions in the mines for meagre income”.
  • The mining of lithium in Chile – another key component required for electric vehicle batteries – “uses nearly 65 per cent of the water in the country’s Salar de Atamaca region, one of the driest desert areas in the world … forcing local quinoa farmers and llama herders to abandon their ancestral settlements.”
  • The production of nickel for electric vehicle batteries is centred in Indonesia and the Philippines where clear-felling of tropical forests is required to mine the quantities needed for the so-called “green transition” the Liberals now back.

How progressive, ScoMo!

Good luck trying to spin your way out of this one, mate…